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At just 5 years old, Kendrick Lamar saw something that no child should ever have to witness. In a new interview with NPR Music Lamar describes how watching a man get killed served as a harsh dose of reality, even back then.

“It was outside my apartment unit,” Lamar said. “A guy was out there serving his narcotics and somebody rolled up with a shotgun and blew his chest out. Admittedly, it done something to me right then and there. It let me know that this is not only something that I’m looking at, but it’s something that maybe I have to get used to — you dig what I’m saying?

“You grow up inside these neighborhoods and these communities, and you have friends, friends that you love, friends that you grew up with since elementary,” continued the 28-year-old Compton native. “And you have their trust, and you have their loyalty. So it brings influence. So no matter how much of a leader I thought I was, I was always under the influence, period. Most of the times, when they were involved in these acts of destruction, I was right there.”

Listen to the interview below.

Photo: Ricky Swift/WENN